The Missing Piece
Expanding a Global Reach
Numerous certification programs exist that address forestry and other issues. Notwithstanding the relative merits of these programs, buyers should be aware that the FSC is the only certification program to address environmental and social issues on a global basis, including North America (which ensures the adequate protection of Endangered Forest areas worldwide). As the global marketplace expands, this is becoming even more important. It also is the only program in the world to have the support of mainstream, global environmental organizations like Greenpeace, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation and The Wilderness Society.
The integrity of FSC's standards not only have earned FSC the strong support of environmental organizations, but have earned the support of large buyers of wood and paper as well. Over the past two years, large commercial printers like RR Donnelley, Quad/Graphics, Quebecor World, Friesens and others have earned FSC Chain of Custody certification so they can apply the FSC logo to their final products. This proves that these companies and their customers who request FSC-certified papers are concerned about their environmental and social impact.
This is one part of an overall industry transformation that includes large paper merchants and mills. While major printers have certified certain products, they have generally not certified grades commonly used in book publishing, as there has been no proof their book customers would want them.
A major announcement, however, was made in early January that could have significant impact on the industry's progress: Fraser Papers now holds an FSC Chain of Custody certificate for certain premium grades. This represents an opportunity to grow the certified book paper sector if it becomes clear to Fraser that there is demand for certified papers.
So, while certified book papers are not yet available in large quantities, it will take only a little encouragement to bring some major players in line. The only missing piece is the expression of real demand from book publishers.